Heads up: Bohol OKs cheaper, saliva-based COVID test for travelers, says DoT

Published February 4, 2021, 3:41 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Bohol provincial government is now accepting saliva RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test results as requirement for local tourists planning to visit the province amid the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DoT) announced.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

This, after Bohol Governor Arthur Yap issued on Tuesday, Feb. 2, Executive Order (EO) 9 which allows the more affordable saliva test for inbound local tourists including those who will attend meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE).

Under the EO signed by Yap, the negative result from the saliva RT-PCR test is also required for authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) “prior to their entry in the province and after arrival for the purpose of being allowed to leave the Tourist and APOR Bubbles.”

The provincial government of Bohol finally started accepting tourists for leisure travels in December 2020 after closing its borders to travelers for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) announced last month that it started its COVID-19 saliva testing after securing approval from a government laboratory experts’ panel and the Department of Health (DoH).

The saliva COVID-19 testing, which has a turnaround time of three to four hours, is more affordable with an estimated price of P2,000. A swab test costs around P3,500.

However, the DoT, through the Tourism Promotions Board (TRB), has made its saliva RT-PCR test more affordable to tourists through its partnership with the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and the Philippine Children’s Medical Hospital (PCMC).

Through this, domestic tourists can avail of the 50 percent subsidized test cost of P900 and P750 from the PGH and PCMC, respectively. (Alexandria Dennis

 
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